Heterospathe elata

Common name

palma brava, sagisi palm

Description

Stems: Solitary, erect (12-13 m tall) with swollen base; young stems brownish with yellow to brown leaf scar rings; older stems grayish with vertical fissures. Leaves: Pinnate, reduplicate, to 3 m long, with a sharply twisted and arched rachis. The linear, green leaflets with tan ramenta on the abaxial midrib are irregularly arranged and spread in a single plane, but because of the twisting rachis, leaflets are turned to have a vertical orientation from about the midpoint to the leaf tip. The petiole is not armed and no crown shaft is formed from leaf sheaths, but the base of the leaf has fibrous margins. New leaves are reddish bronze when they emerge. Flowers and fruit: Inflorescences are branched to four orders, 1-1.5 m long. Staminate and pistillate flowers are produced on the same inflorescences and are white in color. Fruits are spherical, 1-1.25 cm long, and turn from white to red or red-orange when ripe.

Diagnostic features

Solitary, erect stem with a swollen base and new leaves emerging reddish-bronze

Distribution

Native to Philippines

Additional comments

This species is sometimes cultivated as an indoor palm.

Scientific name

Heterospathe elata Scheff.

Family

Arecaceae/Palmae

Synonyms

Metroxylon elatum Hort. ex Scheff.

Last Updated May 2014

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